Whenever someone talks of wanting to get away somewhere but not sure where, instantly I tell them that they should go Croatia. In recent years tourism has grown rapidly in areas such as Dubrovnik and Split, yet there is so much history and culture there that this shouldn’t deter anyone and ought be on any budding travellers to be visited list!
Last summer I had the pleasure of being in Dubrovnik during the World Cup (and luckily our crushing defeat did little to dampen my mood there), and it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve been. I stayed just outside of the Old Town in Lapad, where you can watch the cruise ships on the harbour and explore where many of the locals dine out each night. And while there are many cities that are far cheaper in Europe to visit, there was just something about Dubrovnik that captured my heart. Whether that was the kindness of local’s eager to make sure you enjoyed your time or the wonderful food that seemed to be constantly beckoning me, it was an unforgettable trip.
“I opted to explore the Old Town”
When going Dubrovnik there is an assumption that you are going due to it being one of the main filming locations for Game of Thrones, and though there is the option to do a guided tour of filming locations, I passed on this having never actually seen it (I know, I’m living under a rock). Instead I opted to explore the Old Town, walking through what is considered the main entrance (Pile Gate) is like stepping back in time. It would be easy to think you are no longer in the twenty-first century due to the quaint streets that are easy to lose yourself in and Onofrio’s fountain that makes for the perfect meeting place and provides cold water that you will desperately need after walking the wall in 30 degree heat.
However, as with most tourist locations nothing is free, the walking of the wall costs 200 Kuna (the local currency that really tests your maths skills), which is around £23, but is definitely worth the money, providing great views over the town, out across the harbour and sea; as well as many a photo opportunity.
Something that particularly interested me about Croatia is the fact that it has over 1000 islands, so while visiting I went on a boat tour that visited around six islands over the course of a day near Dubrovnik. I would highly recommend a guided tour of the islands, as it was interesting to hear about how different some peoples lives on these islands were compared to our own, while also seeing the different sides of Croatia.
Another memorable part of the trip was going on the cable car to the top of the mountains, where there is a restaurant and bar that offers wonderful views of the Old Town and coastline. However, the cable car ride itself was over very quickly and is something to bear in mind with it costing around £20 for the journey.
Overall, I would recommend that anyone wanting to escape to the warmer weather, embrace some culture and make friends jealous with beautiful photos of the luscious landscape should plan a visit to the wonderful country that is Croatia.
All images courtesy of Kayleigh Moore.